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Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 33362
Experience:  Barrister at Self Employed Barrister
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We are claiming against our ex landlord who did not protect

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We are claiming against our ex landlord who did not protect our tenancy deposit, and is now refusing to return a single penny of our deposit.
By law he is legally obliged to protect our deposit, which he did not do.
We filed 2 claims - N208 for not protecting the deposit and N1 for the return of our deposit.
The court application has gone through and we are now in the legal process, however the landlord just contacted us to negotiate a settlement out of court. The window for him to respond for one of these claims will end tomorrow, hence his urgency for our reply.
Are we allowed to have contact with the landlord to reach a settlement seeing as the legal process has already started?
If we reach a settlement today (most likely via email) is this agreement valid, or do we need to do this face to face instead and sign some paperwork with legal witnesses?
If we reach a settlement today and decide to withdraw the claim, is he able to sue us back in the future for any reason? Eg he is claiming that we harassed his parents after we moved out from the property, however to our defence he wasn't replying to any of our emails, he does not normally reside in the UK and that was the only contact detail he had provided.
What is the legal process for settlement out of court, and will it have any legal implications on us if we withdraw the claim at this stage?
Yes you are allowed to negotiate at any time - even after the stay has passed. You can even negotiate a settlement at the door of the court. If you reach an agreement it does not need to be face to face. You should then get a document agreed by both of you and signed. There will be no legal implications of withdrawing if you both agree to this - -but I would be keen to have the money you are owed before withdrawing the court proceedings. Happy to discuss. Please rate positive.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your quick response.

A few follow up questions please,

1) Will it be us or the landlord to inform the court that we are withdrawing the claim in the event that we reach a settlement?

2) Does the agreement document need to be written up by a solicitor or a qualified legal advisor, in case there are any legal loopholes which the landlord may pursue in the future? Will there need to be a witness from both parties?

3) As one of the deadlines for the landlord to respond is tomorrow, what should he do to delay this whilst we work out a settlement?


1. I would suggest that it is a joint letter - agreed and signed by you both. But you can tell the court that the matter is resolved. 2. It does not need to be witnessed nor does a solicitor need to draft the letter, although it is always safer for them to do so.3. You do not need to do anything to delay matters - the court will just seek compliance with any directions - which you should comply in any event.Please rate positive.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your answers.

Would you mind elaborating on point 3 please?

For example if we reach an agreement tonight, it might take us a few days to draw up the agreement letter and get it signed by both parties (or even longer if the landlord is not currently in the UK). From the landlord's perspective, he will want us to withdraw the claim as soon as possible, so he would not breach the deadline set by the court, which is tomorrow. We will not withdraw the claim until we have the signed agreement and the money in our bank, but we want to be able to convince the landlord that he will not be legally penalised if he misses the deadline tomorrow whilst we sort this out.

Ok - the key date if the date of the hearing.You can both write to the court today to stay the proceedings for another 7 or 14 days.
I hope that helps - please rate positive.
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